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2019 Fall House Information

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The House program is focused on fun, competitive, low-­stress team play. The program consists of team practices and games. Wilmette Tribe Mite House Hockey is for players aged 4-8.

For our Travel League, please visit the Travel page. If your player is birth year 2008 or older, they are part of Youth Hockey under USA Hockey. Please visit the Wilmette Braves Hockey Association for Squirts and other USA Hockey age groups.

The Wilmette Tribe Hockey Club’s goal is for young hockey players to develop a foundation of skills and love for the game so they play for a lifetime.  Hockey is a game of both skill AND passion.  Wilmette Tribe club members come to the rink with energy and an edge that let's everyone know--they are a hockey player and they love the game!

Key Features of Wilmette Tribe House Program:

  • House League Director Joe Heaton

  • House League Coaching Education Session - featuring WHA coaches and our Coaching Director Tom Finks

  • The return of the popular Parent Hockey Educational Session

  • Saturday Skills Sessions for Devo and Junior Mites that develop skills, speed and hockey sense to help players take their game to the next level

    • The Devo program starts a little later in the Fall.  This is a more manageable season duration for our youngest skaters and reduces the conflicts for those that are multi sport athletes playing soccer in the Fall.

  • Saturday Group Skills Sessions for Senior Mites which gets players sharp and prepares them for the big game. This group session will be organized around player skill levels and teams.

  • Sunday Games: Devo/ Jr Mites have games on the Studio Ice and Snr Mites have a mix of Cross Ice and Full Ice games on the NHL ice.  Benefits of Cross Ice Games include: 

    • More cross ice and small space games means more ice time and puck touches

    • More ice time and puck touches means more battles, more chances and more fun

    • Players are more fully prepared for full ice game events where they can show their stuff

  • Optional Friday Skills Practices - high energy, high repetition, super fun skill challenges and contests. This program provides an additional hour of skills based instruction every 2 weeks during the season.  (Open to Jr and Sr Mites Only). 

  • Goalie Clinics for Sr Mites 

Program Level and Age Groups

We offer the following programs to help develop Hockey players.  All programs are affiliated with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and AAU Hockey Illinois.

Note sure which program is right for your child?   No problem, they will be placed in the correct program based on ability during evaluations at the start of the season.  Or you can contact our coaching staff

Developmental (Devo) Mites  - For younger skaters new to team hockey. Typically ages 4-6. This is a great program to graduate to after the Park District Programs such as Learn To Skate programs or Intro To Team Hockey. However, any child with basic skating skills will feel comfortable in the Tribe's program. Games are played on the studio ice.

Junior - For younger mites with previous team hockey experience or an appropriate level of team hockey skill. Typically ages 5-6. Older mites without previous team experience may play at this level. Games are played on the studio ice.

Senior - Ideal for skaters with previous team hockey experience or an appropriate skill level.  This league is full of fast paced cross ice hockey games and some full ice games. This program is geared toward 2010 and 2011 birth years. 2012 birth year players may be considered if coaches approve during evaluations. Only open to a handful of 2012 players where placement is appropriate. 

Players may be moved up or down levels based on evaluations.

House League Director

Joe Heaton is the House League Director for the Wilmette Tribe.   Joe grew up playing hockey in the Wilmette Tribe/Braves system.  He enters his fourth year coaching for Wilmette, 18th overall. Coach Heaton emphasizes individual player skill development through fun, efficient and challenging drills, making the game exciting for entry level players.

A little more about Joe:  

19 years coaching; Level 4 USA Hockey Coach; Former Wilmette Brave, Loyola Academy and Xavier University player; Emphasizes tempo and passion for the game followed by smart, challenging skill development designs; successfully transitioned Wilmette into ADM-Cross Ice model; experienced program builder that successfully welcomes kids to the game; brought crushed velvet and velour to Wilmette coaching fashion; enjoys BBQ mini burgers when time permits.  Joe and his wife Meaghan have two children (Paddy and Rita) and reside in Evanston.

Read even more about Joe

Conditioning and Evaluations

Conditioning Clinics

The coaches will be holding Conditioning Clinics leading up to the evaluation days and all interested skaters are encouraged to participate. Its a great way to get comfortable on the ice after a long summer.  Your registration includes all conditioning sessions.  

All sessions are at Centennial Ice Arena

Devo Mite Conditioning / Practice Sessions
Saturday November 2, 2019  11:40 - 12:40 pm
Sunday November 3, 2019  10:40 - 11:40 am


Skill evaluations are held at the beginning of the each season. The objective of the initial evaluation sessions is to ensure Mite skaters are slotted at the right level, balance team make-up and to provide for parity in game play to the extent possible.

Please plan on attending both sessions so we can ensure the player will be assigned to the correct level and team. If you are unable to make it, please email us.

All sessions are at Centennial Ice Arena.

Devo Mite Evaluations
Saturday October 26, 2019  10:20 - 11:20 am
Sunday October 27, 2019  10:40 - 11:40 am

Where possible, we will honor Friend Requests as we create rosters. Please provide your request during the registration process (Limit to 1 per player).   

Dates and Information for 2019-2020 Season

The Junior and Senior House season runs from September 21, 2019 - February 23, 2020.

The Devo House season runs from October 26, 2019 - February 23, 2020.

Player specific schedules and times will be determined once the number of teams at each level is set. No practices or games over Thanksgiving or Winter school breaks.

Please see the Calendar for exact times and locations as they may change.


Devo Mites, 2019-2020 Season

  • Beginning 11/9/2019, Saturday morning practices will be held 9:10am-10:10am, Centennial Full Ice
  • Sunday games (1 hr) rotating times Centennial Studio Rink

Junior Mites, 2019-2020 Season

  • Saturday morning practice at 9:10am (thru 11/2/2019) at Centennial Full Ice. Beginning 11/9/2019, Saturday practices will move up to 8:00am.
  • Sunday games (1 hr) rotating schedule at Centennial Studio Rink

Senior Mites, 2019-2020 Season

  • Saturday Team Practice from 7:30am-8:30am at Centennial Studio Ice.
  • Sunday games (1 hr), rotating schedule at Centennial Full Ice


What about Soccer or other Fall Sports?

We believe participation in other sports positively contributes to the long term athletic development resulting in a better hockey player and happier person. We understand that the beginning of our Fall season overlaps with other popular sports activities such as soccer and baseball.  

Our greatest limitation in our session scheduling is the availability of ice time. It is a very scarce resource that is shared between 400+ hockey players, Park District classes, Park District public skate hours and figure skating sessions. Thus, we are unable to work the ice hockey schedule around the other sports' schedules.

Therefore, we understand if you have to miss a few events in the early part of the season. It's not a problem, you will have your spot on the team.  Just please keep your team's coach up to date so they know what to expect each week.

For our youngest / beginning skaters, our Devo Mite program is structured to start at the end of the Park District Hockey season to help minimize conflicts.

We do not offer refunds for missed sessions.  Also, please do not attend a skills session or game that you are not assigned to. Each session is tailored to a particular skill level and having unassigned players does impact the quality of the session that the coaches can execute. 

Additional Skills Session - Optional

There will be an optional skills sessions for Junior and Senior Mites.  Additional support for this program will be provided by Travel coaches, hockey coach staffers, and parent coaches. The sessions feature additional skill instruction and a faster, fun pace geared toward the ambitious House player.

Sessions are held on Fridays from 4-5PM, beginning October 5th and run until Feb 22nd.  Participants are divided into two groups and attend a skills session every other week. (Format may change based on number of people who enroll).

You can add this Skill Session as an option when you register for the House league. Separate fees apply.

House Plus

In December we will have a special opportunity for advanced Senior Mite house players that are ready to take their game to the next level.  

The House Plus program is designed to give players and families a taste of local travel hockey while continuing to improve their skills and gain a better understanding of the game.  All House Plus teams are part of the same league as the fall mite travel teams - CUHL (Chicago United Hockey League) and play a season of about 8 games against nearby north shore teams. The House Plus season runs from approximately mid December to early March.  Its a great program (with over 16 hours of ice) at a phenomenal price.

Registration for House Plus will begin late Nov/early December. Separate fees apply.

Jerseys & Equipment

Team Jerseys and socks are provided by the club at no additional cost.

Full equipment is required

All players MUST have the following properly fitted equipment to take the ice for any practice, clinic or game:

  • HECC certified helmet with full face mask
  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Shin guards
  • Cup and supporter for boys or pelvic protector for girls
  • Stick
  • Gloves
  • Hockey pants
  • Properly fitted and sharpened skates
  • Mouth guard
  • Neck guard 
  • Hockey socks (provided by the club)
  • Jersey (provided by the club) 

Equipment for WTHC programs CANNOT be rented from the Park District.  View our Gear page to find places where you can buy gear.

In early September, the Tribe and Wilmette Hockey Association host an annual Gear Free Cycling event.  Donated used gear will be available for free. Its a great place to pick up some hockey gear. 

Goalie gear will be provided by the Tribe for all House program games that require goalies. Players will have several opportunities throughout the season to try the goalie position. Game format at the Devo Mite level does not include a goalie.


The Tribe packs in tons of skating, games and learning opportunities to create maximum value for our skaters.

  • Devos Mites $500
  • Junior and Senior Mites $900
  • Additional Skills Sessions (Optional for Jr & Sr. Mites) $160

Fees include:  Jerseys, Socks, Conditioning Clinics, Weekly Practice and Weekly Games

Please review our refund policy.

AAU Membership

The Wilmette Tribe Hockey Club is a member of CUHL (Chicago United Hockey League, an AAU organization). Registration requires an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) membership. AAU membership, among other items, provides a comprehensive insurance program and provides protection for athletes while participating in competitions and practices.

AAU Annual membership is $14.  

Even if you registered with AAU during the spring session you will need to renew your membership on or after August 15th.  All AAU memberships expire on August 15th regardless of when they were initially purchased.

We recommend not registering for AAU prior to August 15thRegistering for AAU before August 15th will result in your AAU registration expiring before the season begins.  

Register here for your AAU membership.  Choose "Extended Benefits" and enter club code WYW3AW - Wilmette Tribe Hockey Club.  During registration you will be asked for your Membership ID number (6 digit code).

You must have a valid AAU number prior to getting on the ice (including conditioning and tryouts).

Parent Participation & Coaching

Parent participation is the backbone to our successful organization.

The continued success of the Wilmette Tribe House League is due in large part to the many volunteer coaches who dedicate a lot of time and effort in helping their children and their teammates learn and improve their skating, skills and game play. Parents who have confident skating skills and want to pass along their knowledge and passion for team sports are encouraged to help as volunteer coaches. We need you, no matter your level of playing experience. If you have a passion for the game, and want to share it with these young hockey players, we welcome your participation.  Volunteer parent coaches are also required to register on-line with AAU (after  Aug 15) and must have properly fitted helmet skates, gloves and a stick.

For non skaters, we are also looking for parents to help throughout the year with social activities, Super Sunday, etc.   

During registration, please indicate if you could be a parent coach or fill one of the other volunteer spots.  Or you can send us an email

House League Director, Joe Heaton, and Coaching Operations Director, Tom Finks, will hold a special pre-season Volunteer Coach informational session in September (Date/Time TBD) to launch the season in the right direction and answer questions you may have.


Registration is open.

The Registration "2019 Fall House Information" is not currently available.

House League Contact

If you have any questions, email us at: